In the final of the Brazil Cup, almost in the final of the Libertadores Cup and having already won the São Paulo state Championship this season, one would expect that Palmeiras would relegate the Brazilian League to a second level of importance. Abel spared some of the regular starters, but even Palmeiras alternative team is strong enough to maintain the hope of a perfect season.
Against Sport, the team initially seemed a little confused, but soon found the way to score the opener in the 27th minute with Willian being assisted by Veron. Palmeiras took advantage of Sport’s despair to create bucket-loads of counter-attack opportunities, but were unable to secure the victory by increasing the advantage on the scorecard, and the sole goal advantage was almost lost in the dying minutes of the game: the referee awarded a penalty to Sport, but changed his mind after the VAR had him review the situation. The final whistle saw Palmeiras close the gap to leaders São Paulo by another three points.
Weverton; Luan, Émerson Santos, Kuscevic and Lucas Esteves (Danilo); Zé Rafael (Patrick de Paula), Raphael Veiga (Alan Empereur) and Lucas Lima (Rony); Veron (Gabriel Menino), Willian and Breno Lopes.
Lucas Lima, Gabriel Menino and Kuscevic received yellow cards.
Palmeiras open the round with a victory, putting pressure on the leaders if they don’t want a new contender for the title. With two postponed games still to be played, Palmeiras can decrease the gap to the leaders to six points or less, depending on the results of this round. And let’s not forget Palmeiras still play São Paulo before the end of the championship.
A problem previously seen under coach Luxemburgo was (almost) repeated against Sport: Palmeiras open the scorecard, miss plenty of opportunities to increase the lead and get unlucky in the dying minutes.
There was an unnecessary distress in the final minutes, but with the team alive on every front being disputed, red light remains off.
Palmeiras return to São Paulo to play the most important game of the season so far, on Tuesday 12th. The return leg for the semifinals of the Libertadores Cup would be a tense night for palmeirenses, but the extremely good result at Argentina make things easier. However, the fact the even by losing by two goals takes Palmeiras to the final can’t occupy our players’ mind. River Plate is looking for revenge after the humiliation at home and will seize any opportunity to pull out a historic comeback. Nevertheless, the Big Green are still unbeaten in the tournament and should this circumstance remain, we can look forward to battle it out with either Boca or Santos for the hegemony of the Americas.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi
*Here at Anything Palmeiras, we love football. We love Palmeiras. We are always keen to see Palmeiras play, and keen to write about it for you. But we’re against the return of football in a country that still hasn’t controlled the coronavirus pandemic. We express our deepest sympathy to the families whose loved ones have been taken by the disease.